Canada has been congratulated by the MIPEX (Migration Integration Policy Index) as one of the top 10 countries that reaches out to help integration to their immigrants. The MIPEX analyzes Canadian resources to assist new residents and citizens in comparison to other 31 European and North American countries.
MIPEX is a consultant company dedicated to analyze the immigration strategies such as the facilities each country has in maters of Visas, Residencies and naturalization processes. In general they review the eligibility, citizenship application parameters and processes for immigrants. The results show Canada as the third country following Sweden and Portugal.
Canada was applauded by the effort put into immigrant integration through their citizenship courses and testing. We also received a strong input in our now recently applied government recognition of immigrants education and credentials. Canada had the record immigration numbers in 57 years in 2009 that registered a total of 280,000 newcomers to the country.
The study does not include the immigrant experience through the process. It only evaluates the tools the nation has to assist them. Among the research categories where: Family reunion possibilities, access to education, labour market mobility, possibility of permanent residency, citizenship and political rights.
Canada scored pretty well from most of the categories reaching a 72 points score out of 100. The strong areas where: labour insertion, since Canada gives immigrants the same privileges to establish in any sector as Canadian Citizens have; Integration, because of the resources given to future citizens on regards of study material, however some comment were made that major cities with big immigration rates should implement better citizenship programs such as courses or assisted language learning programs. However Canada already has the “English as Second Language Program” for children, a similar program for adults could shorten the difference with Sweden score.
Canada’s opportunities where found in the waiting time for their citizenship and residency applications. Right now the country has a 9 month backlog of applications waiting to be approved or rejected which increases the discomfort of the immigrant population and jeopardizes their satisfaction. This is nothing more than a political issue, Canada could increase the number of citizenship judges and CIC employees to shorten the time frames we currently have to address the matter. However the citizenship test has been highly ranked by the agency as one of the most through and complete ones among the 31 tested countries.
The focus for the new cycle is immigrant satisfaction. Are newcomers satisfied with the Canadian assistance throughout the integration process? Are we doing enough to help these people and recognize their skilled status among Canadians? Should we open citizenship courses to prepare them for the Canadian Test not only in major immigration rate cities but through all the country?
All good questions, we will be here waiting for the results. Congratulations Canada for a great job!
Resources: MIPEX (Migration Integration Policy Index)